An Interview with
Mircea Lacku (Balkans)
I was at home when I heard the news about the war in Ukraine. My first thought was, “What can I do? Is there anything I can do to help the people there?” I was thinking about it for quite some time,
and I realized that there is nothing I can do. I knew that ACT Serbia had a lot of projects and that all available funds went for the humanitarian actions in local communities.
While I was thinking about it, I got a call from Ivana Kalinic, coordinator for Mohanji Balkan, to whom I’m very grateful, and she asked me: Do I know anyone in Ukraine?
Suddenly, everything unfolded in my head, and I realized that I could be of great help.
Immediately after our conversation, I started calling people to see who I could find in Ukraine. The first point of contact was a Ukrainian lady who helped us get in touch with a children’s hospital in Chernivtsi. They needed medicines, diapers, and food for babies.
I passed on that information and people immediately got involved and raised money for everything they needed. The first action was organized by ACT Serbia and Mohanji Balkan. The supplies were delivered to me, and I then hitched a trailer and headed for the location.
That action was the first contact and everything you see today came from that.
I think a huge advantage is the fact that I speak Romanian, which made our organization easier.
There was one situation that was very difficult for me. Every day we helped people, distributed medicines, food, necessities… However, one day I found myself in a situation where someone was asking me for something, and I couldn’t give it. That was very difficult for me. We helped everyone, and in that one situation, we simply did not have the opportunity to give what was needed.
It was about one of our volunteers, a refugee from Ukraine, who had to undergo surgery.
Somehow, I always thought I could do anything, but that situation made me realize I was wrong. I felt terrible. Defeated. Fortunately, it all ended well later. But that moment of helplessness left a mark.
Of all the humanitarian actions we have done so far in Ukraine, the visit to a home for children with disabilities in Mahala, remained in my heart the most. That home received 80 children, refugees from other cities. In total, about 150 children are cared for. When I think of that institution, I have mixed emotions. At the same time, I feel sadness and incredible warmth around my heart.
I am infinitely grateful to our volunteer Melanie, from Canada, who posted photos of our actions, which is why people donated more. Thanks to her and her mother, we managed to raise funds for the purchase and installation of an elevator, which was necessary for immobile children in that home. 20% of these children have no motor skills and are bedridden.
According to what I have seen, most Ukrainians are located in cities or towns in border areas and do not want to leave Ukraine. They are waiting for a moment to return home.